Cranberry Orange Steel Cut Oats

Steet cut oats with cranberries, orange and nuts. It tastes like cranberry bread! |


These Cranberry Orange steel cut oats were inspired by my favorite Tried and True Cranberry Bread recipe.  Like the bread, three simple ingredients – dried cranberries, orange zest and nuts – transform a boring bowl of oatmeal into a creamy, healthy, nutty, and tasty breakfast.

If you’ve ever made steel cuts, you know they take 30 to 45 minutes to cook, unless, you pre-soak them.  I used to soak them overnight, but since I found myself forgetting most nights, I’ve gone to a pre-soak in the morning.  While I’m steeping my first cup of tea, I boil some water, pour in the oats, cover and let them soak until I get hungry.  It only takes 30 minutes but they can soak as long as you want. Once pre-soaked, the oats only take about 15 minutes to cook up.


Steet cut oats with cranberries, orange and nuts. It tastes like cranberry bread! |


Cranberry Orange Steel Cut Oats Recipe

Recipe Author:  MJ of MJ’s Kitchen

Serves: 4 – ½ cup servings
Prep and Cook time: 15 minutes after a half hour rest


½ cup steel cut oats
¼ tsp. salt
1 ½ cups water
½+ cup Vanilla almond milk
¼ cup dried cranberries
2 tsp. brown sugar or to taste
¼ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Zest from half of a large orange


  1. Bring 1 ½ cups water to a boil in a sauce pan. Slowly add the oats, stirring. Bring back to a boil stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and cover. Let sit at least 30 minutes.
  2. Reheat the oats with ½ cup almond milk. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and stir for about 5 minutes.  If the oats appear too thick, add a little more milk.
  3. Add the cranberries and brown sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally for 8 to 10 minutes. Taste for texture, sweetness and saltiness.   Adjust each to your tastes.
  4. Add the nuts and orange zest. Stir and cook for another minute or 2 until the oats are to the desired doneness and thickness.
  5. Divide the oatmeal between two bowls and enjoy!

If you want, you can juice the orange and have a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice with your oats.



Steet cut oats with cranberries, orange and nuts. It tastes like cranberry bread! |


Kitchen Notes

Thickness of oats – Steel cuts soak up a lot of liquid; therefore, the longer they soak and cook, the more liquid you’ll need.  So just keep adding almond milk until you get the consistency you want.

Almond milk – Almond milk, soy milk or regular milk can all be used for these oats.

The Sweetener – For the sweetener, I prefer brown sugar, but you can use honey, maple syrup or whatever sweetener you want. We find that 2 tsp. of brown sugar provide enough sweetness for us, but, again, you can adjust that to your tastes.

If you enjoy these cranberry orange steel cuts, then you’ll also enjoy my Banana, Raisin and Almond oats as well as these Apple, Cranberries and Walnut.


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44 Responses to “Cranberry Orange Steel Cut Oats”

  1. April J Harris February 3, 2016 at 12:18 pm #

    What a wonderful idea to soak the oats before cooking and what lovely flavours you have used, MJ! Your Cranberry Orange Steel Cut Oats are a lovely way to start the day! Thank you for sharing them with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop. Sharing!

  2. Vicki Bensinger May 12, 2015 at 8:05 am #

    I have oatmeal almost every single morning with blueberries and cinnamon but have yet to try steel cut oats. Everyone always tells me they’re so much better but I never feel like I have the time to wait.

    Someone had mentioned using my rice cooker and then I can put them in the night before and they’ll be waiting for me in the morning. Have you ever tried them in a rice cooker? I really should check that out.

    Your recipe sounds so tasty. I love cranberry orange bread so I’m sure I’d love this..

    • mj May 12, 2015 at 11:22 am #

      Actually Vicki, I have not tried them in a rice cooker, but my BIL fixes them that way all of the time. Last time we visited he made them the last night before we left. The next morning we had a very tasty, hot bowl of steel cuts. It works great! You really should try them. I haven’t been able to eat regular oatmeal since. 🙂

  3. Liz May 9, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

    I love cranberry orange bread, too, so I know this oatmeal would thrill my palate, too. And I second the brown sugar recommendation!

    • mj May 11, 2015 at 8:30 pm #

      A great oatmeal for cranberry bread lovers. Thanks Liz!

  4. Bam's Kitchen May 7, 2015 at 9:26 am #

    Lovely hearty breakfast and cranberry and orange just rock together.

    • mj May 7, 2015 at 9:45 am #

      They do don’t they. 🙂 Thanks!

  5. Debra May 5, 2015 at 9:10 am #

    I am so ready for the day that I can leisurely brew a cup of tea, read the paper, and actually have a real breakfast like this (instead of running out the door with a travel mug of coffee and eating a protein bar when I can)…….Love the idea that this came from your favorite quick bread recipe.

    • mj May 5, 2015 at 3:00 pm #

      It is certainly a great way to start the day. Hope that time comes for you and your hubby soon! I remember the days of just skipping breakfast and am glad to not have to do that anymore. 🙂 Thanks Debra!

  6. Katerina May 5, 2015 at 1:15 am #

    The best way to start your day! A good, healthy breakfast is the key meal of the day!

    • mj May 5, 2015 at 2:59 pm #

      Thanks Katerina!

  7. Anne@ASaladForAllSeasons May 4, 2015 at 7:17 pm #

    I love oatmeal MJ! I have steel cut oats….I actually got them by accident one time and never used them because of the long cooking time. But now you’ve taught me what to do with them.I love orange and cranberry paired together! : )

    • mj May 5, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

      Oh Anne, you really need to pull them from the pantry and give them a try. You’ll never make rolled oats again. 🙂 Thanks and you are doing well!

  8. Raymund May 4, 2015 at 1:46 pm #

    I nice breakfast to start the day, healthy and fibrous

    • mj May 5, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

      Thanks Raymund!

  9. Easyfoodsmith May 4, 2015 at 6:14 am #

    We do not get steel cut oats here…any idea what can I substitute them with coz I want to try this delicious recipe.

    • mj May 4, 2015 at 9:30 am #

      Thank Taruna! I’m not exactly sure what you might substitute, however, it you can get rolled oats which are more common, you could flavor it the same way. If not, then maybe buckwheat oats? Now you have me very curious as to what else might work.

  10. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles May 2, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

    Ooh, love the idea of orange zest in this version MJ — I probably eat oatmeal 4 or more times a week for breakfast and cranberry is a frequent visitor (as is walnut) but I’m not sure why I’ve not gone that extra measure to add the orange since it really is a heavenly combination. I usually sweeten with banana slices these days but when I was growing up it was brown sugar + butter — oh yeah baby, porridge never tasted so good :D.

    • mj May 3, 2015 at 7:26 pm #

      Thanks Kelly! You’ll be surprised how much the orange zest transforms oatmeal. A little dash of cardamom is also a nice addition.

  11. Thalia @ butter and brioche May 1, 2015 at 9:41 pm #

    Love the classic combination of cranberry and orange.. so I know these oats would taste delicious. I am so making them for breakfast this week – a warming bowl of oats is perfect for the cool weather here in Australia now.

    • mj May 3, 2015 at 1:39 pm #

      Thanks so much Thalia! I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

  12. Sissi May 1, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

    What a creative way to use your beloved bread’s ingredients ! It looks gorgeous! I must say I practically never have a breakfast (I can hardly swallow a diet crips bread slice spread with fresh cheese maybe about two hours after I wake up… and it depends on how late I had my dinner too…) but I can very well imagine having these oats as an afternoon snack. By the way, I am a huge fan of almond milk. I have it every morning with my coffee (just a splash… not the latte style). I used to take soy milk before (I have stomach problems when I have coffee with cow milk) but almond milk tastes so much better, doesn’t it?

    • mj May 3, 2015 at 1:38 pm #

      Thanks so much Sissi! Actually, one of the reasons this method works for me is that is takes me a while to be hungry in the morning as well. Sometimes I’ll go ahead and make them for Bobby, the eat mine an hour or two later. 🙂 I too tried soy milk for a while, but it got old. Now I use either organic brown rice milk or almond milk. The almond milk is great for cooking,baking and lattes. I drink rice milk like cow’s milk. Hope you’re having a great weekend!

  13. easy video recipes May 1, 2015 at 10:40 am #

    My favourite thing to make in the kitchen!

    • mj May 3, 2015 at 1:34 pm #

      One of my favorites. Grits is another. 🙂

  14. Carol at Wild Goose Mama April 30, 2015 at 2:00 pm #

    This flies with me. I love the two flavors together. I eat oatmeal 4 to 5 times a week.
    I haven’t done this version with it. Thanx for the idea.

    • mj April 30, 2015 at 8:49 pm #

      Hope you give this combination a try Carol! It’s really good.

  15. Diana April 30, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

    They now make quick steel cut oats. I love them for my overnight oat recipes.

    I know the brand is not organic and some might argue that “quick oats” are more processed and less nutritious, but it’s still better than sugary cereals. I compared nutritional facts labels (regular steel cut oats vs. quick steel cut) and they really are not that different. Anyhow, the recipe sounds yummy!

    • mj April 30, 2015 at 8:48 pm #

      I’ve never heard of quick steel cuts. Definitely will check them out. I wonder if the nutty texture is still there. Thanks for this information!

  16. Angie@Angie's Recipes April 30, 2015 at 10:20 am #

    A great dish to kick start the day!

    • mj April 30, 2015 at 8:45 pm #

      It sure is! Thanks Angie!

  17. Minnie@thelady8home April 30, 2015 at 9:33 am #

    Very very healthy and delicious! Loved the combo flavours.

    • mj April 30, 2015 at 8:45 pm #

      Thanks Minnie!

  18. Judy @Savoring Today April 30, 2015 at 7:01 am #

    I adore the cranberry and orange combo of flavors, but have never had the inclination to add it to my morning oatmeal. Brilliant!

    • mj April 30, 2015 at 8:45 pm #

      Thanks so much Judy! It does make a great tasting breakfast!

  19. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef April 29, 2015 at 4:10 pm #

    Cranberry and orange for breakfast is a big winner for me and really, anything with brown sugar on it gets the tick from me. 🙂

    • mj April 29, 2015 at 7:27 pm #

      Thanks Maureen. Great flavors to wake up too. 🙂

  20. Dedy@Dentist Chef April 29, 2015 at 10:15 am #

    feeling healthier just by reading this!!!
    looks really healtilicious,,,,,

    • mj April 29, 2015 at 7:27 pm #

      Almost to healthy to eat. 🙂 Thanks Dedy!

  21. John@Kitchen Riffs April 29, 2015 at 7:25 am #

    It’s been ages since I’ve had oatmeal! Don’t know why I got out of the habit — I used to have it everyday for breakfast. Probably time to get back into the habit. Steel cut oats are the best, although they do take just a bit of time to make, as you say. But we always take a walk of about an hour every morning — plenty of time for them to soak. 😉 Really nice combo of ingredients — this looks great. Thanks.

    • mj April 29, 2015 at 9:49 am #

      It’s interesting how we do develop habits around food and also how being a food blogger has changed some of those habits. Every once in a while Bobby will mentioned a dish that we used to eat all of the time and I haven’t cooked in ages. However, steel cuts is not one of them. We alternate a lot between grits and steel cuts. 🙂 Well, I think it’s time for you to make yourself a bowl of oatmeal John! Thanks for stopping by!

  22. Hotly Spiced April 28, 2015 at 10:49 pm #

    I love brown sugar too! I do love the combination of cranberries and orange. This is a wonderful start to the day xx

    • mj April 29, 2015 at 9:40 am #

      Thanks Charlie! For some reason, brown sugar just “works” with oatmeal. 🙂


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